Saturday, December 09, 2006

Study: Methadone substitute equally effective

Edinburgh: A study of 235 heroin addicts here found that dihydrocodeine tablets were just as effective as methadone. Dihydrocodeine is an analgesic that can be administered in tablet rather than liquid form, and costs about half as much as methadone.

Dihydrocodeine has been used for years but its effectiveness in treating heroin addiction has not previously been tested, says Dr. Roy Robertson of the University of Edinburgh, main author.

"Dihydrocodeine offers an alternative treatment for those who can't tolerate methadone, or find it hard to deal with the stigma of having to take their dose -- sometimes every day-- in a pharmacy. It is also much cheaper," he said. Source.

1 comment:

Jason said...

A couple points:
When I was on methadone I got into a minor argument with the pharmacist about how cheap methadone was for them. They bought it 100 grams at a time for a price of less than 1 cent CDN/ per mg. Meth maintenance is usually 40-150 mg a day so the price isn't an issue it's all in administration costs.

Giving an addict a bunch of short lasting opiates in pill form is just inviting trouble. If someone gave me a weeks worth of pills chances are I would have done them in a night I would guess that would be the case for the majority of the addicts. Since it couldn't be mixed with an antagonist, and dihydrocodiene would have zero blocking potential, unlike meth which has a little bit, I doubt it would be useful for 99 % of cases.

All that coupled with the fact that of the dozens of people I know who have transfered their addiction to methadone I know very few who believe it was at all helpful to them. Suboxone actually seems to be beneficial to some.